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CADL staff member shares what books people couldn’t stop checking out this year

With winter in full gear, there’s no better time to curl up on the couch with a good book.

As 2022 ends, WKAR asked a staff member with Capital Area District Libraries to reflect on what new releases she just couldn’t put down.

Jessica Trotter is a Collection Development Specialist at CADL. She says many books stuck with her this year, and her favorite seems to change every day.

A memoir that made an impact on Trotter is It's Hard Being You: A Primer on Being Happy Anyway by Lansing native Sharon Emery.

"She has a stutter. There's working with that as a disability. She had a child with a disability. She loses a sister. She loses that child," she said. "But it's just sort of how you go through and move through those setbacks. 

"You've just got a lot of really neat stuff all being put out at the same time."
Jessica Trotter, Capital Area District Libraries

Trotter says one surprising non-fiction find from this year tells the story of a Lansing-born wrestling legend. It’s called Blood and Fire: The Unbelievable Real-Life Story of Wrestling's Original Sheik by Brian R. Solomon.

She also says Michelle Obama's The Light We Carry, Johann Hari's Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—and How to Think Deeply Again, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music from musician Dave Grohl and River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard were popular in the non-fiction genre.

Trotter says it’s hard to pick just one book or even a genre that dominated in 2022.

That’s because a backlog in the publishing industry caused by the pandemic led to a flood of new books this year.

"You've just got a lot of really neat stuff all being put out at the same time. And it's a little hard to see, you know, a lot of things people are missing that I think are really fabulous."

Another book she recommends is The Peacekeeper by Michigan author B.L. Blanchard. It’s a mystery novel set in an alternate universe where North America was never colonized.

Other popular fiction books include The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi, Morgan Talty's Night of the Living Rez, What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris, Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation from Maud Newton and Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.

For kids, she says to check out Berry Song. It's a picture book by Michaela Goade. Dhonielle Clayton's The Marvellers might be a good choice for slightly-older readers interested in fantasy-adventure stories.

Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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